Athletic Trainer Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Info
Students interested in becoming an athletic trainer can enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Athletic Training or a similar program. Athletic training majors are taught to recognize both internal and external injuries.
Athletic trainers do not actually train athletes in the practice of a sport, but instead are healthcare professionals who assess, treat and teach prevention of injuries for athletes. Earning a bachelor's degree is a requirement for gaining licensure and employment in the field. Students in an athletic training major learn treatment methods and common factors that lead to injury. A bachelor's degree program usually requires little more than a high school diploma for admittance.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma
- Program Length: Four years
- Other Requirements: To enter the workforce, athletic trainers must be licensed by the Board of Certification
Bachelor's Degrees in Athletic Training
Besides classroom lectures, curriculum for the bachelor's degree program includes hands-on clinical experience with patients (under supervision) in an athletic training practice. Coursework sometimes includes classes on coaching, because knowing what coaches ask of athletes can help the athletic trainer determine how those athletes could get hurt. Courses may include:
- Human anatomy
- Recognition of injury
- Bandaging and strapping
- Medical ethics
- Coaching methods for various sports
- Emergency response
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The expected rate of employment is actually quite high, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From 2012-2022, employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow 19%. The May 2014 BLS figures showed that athletic trainers earned an average of $45,730 a year (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
After completing the bachelor's degree program, students looking to go directly into the workplace must first be licensed by the Board of Certification. This process involves an examination and future adherence to the Board's standards, such as continuing education. About 70% of today's athletic trainers also hold master's degrees, reports the National Athletic Trainers' Association (www.nata.org). Some athletic training jobs require a graduate degree.
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